By Andrew Marchand

Nothing will be ultimately decided by late Thursday afternoon, but the New York Yankees have a chance to start hiding in the AL East. Of course, the Baltimore Orioles have an equal opportunity to make the race very interesting.

That is why Tuesday opens the first relatively big series of the season. After three games, the division could look a little different.

The Orioles might very well be the Yankees’ toughest contenders in the AL East. They are four games back. So a sweep either way could really change the complexion of this race. Here are the pitching matchups:

Tuesday: Nathan Eovaldi (9-2, 4.50 ERA) vs. Wei-Yin Chen (4-5, 2.78).

Wednesday: Ivan Nova (1-3, 3.42) vs. Kevin Gausman (1-1, 5.00).

Thursday: Masahiro Tanaka (6-3, 3.65) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (7-5, 3.29).

Referendum: On Monday, off my conversation with GM Brian Cashman, I wrote a story on the Yankees’ thinking going into the trade deadline.

During the talk, I asked Cashman to assess where he thinks Mr. Popular, Rob Refsnyder, is in his development as a second baseman.

“He is progressing,” Cashman said. “There is no doubt that he needed more time in development when we made the move for him to go to Scranton. That was the right move to continue his growth — more so on the defensive side. He is definitely improved and is going in the right direction from March. Now, he is a viable guy that if we want to bring him up, we can rely on him. He also goes down with a skip in his step, not wondering what it is like to be in the Show.”

Advertisements